|AL (A.E.) JOHNSON
|Al Johnson at Ellington Field, 1917.||Al Johnson & wife Loraine, 1924.|
Walter was an instructor at the Curtiss School at the foot of Jersey Street in Buffalo. Walter's first students were Al Johnson and Fish Hassell.
Al Johnson and Jimmy Johnson were attached to McCook Field as pilots. Sergeant Alexander Klemin, who was in full charge of the research department and wanted to learn to fly, ordered himself to conduct observation flights in a number of ships. He taught Al and Jimmy the theory of flight, while they taught him to handle the controls. The results were almost disastrous to all parties concerned. The Johnsons couldn't learn the theory of flight, while Klemin had a tendency to be naturally heavy-handed at the controls. His peculiar antics in the air were a source of never-ending delight to the McCook personnel. For hours, while in the air with the Johnsons, Klemin would launch into arguments and discussions, shouting over the noise of the motors, attempting to coordinate theory with practice. And it would wind up with his taking the stick and nearly cracking up the plane.
Walter was instructing Army pilots for World War I at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas. Al Johnson was also an instructor at the field with Walter. Al is pictured in Gallery 4, The First Consignment at Ellington Field.
Shortly after the war, in the Spring of 1919, the Bureau of Military Aeronautics, of which Colonel Thurman Bane was Chief in Washington, and the Bureau of Aircraft Production were consolidated at McCook Field as a unified technical and developement center, under the command of Colonel Bane. Only a sprinkling of officers was carried over from wartime days. Jimmy Johnson , Al Johnson, Frank Hambly, and J.D. Hill were a few of the pioneer civilian instructors and test pilots who still carried on.
In the fall, Walter went with Johnson Aeroplane and Supply Company, located in Dayton, Ohio. He worked with Al Johnson and his good friend from the Curtiss flying school in San Diego, Jimmy Johnson. Al and Jimmy were not related.
Open house at the Dayton Municipal Airport enabled thousands of persons to visit the field. E. A. Johnson, Johnson Flying Service, was in charge of a two-day stunt and night flying program.